StewardshipStewardship

Innovative environmental efforts to enhance and protect fisheries builds on sound science and technology. Global pressures on coastal resources present a tough quandary to fishery managers: how to restore and conserve fisheries while assuring adequate supplies of marine protein. Aquaculture, as we have seen, offers potential to supplement food supplies, but aquaculture can play a similar role in environmental efforts. The same technologies that enable us to reproduce marine fingerlings in a hatchery also allow us to replenish and restore stocks in their natural habitats.

Stock enhancement is the release of cultured fish into natural environments. Enhancement projects are helping some regional fisheries recover more quickly than simply closing the areas to harvest. Reintroducing fish back into their natural environment is expanding our understanding of the dynamics of fisheries and the pressures on them, whether from pollution or harvest.

A commitment to coral reef health is the driving force behind OI's efforts to culture marine ornamental fish for the aquarium trade. Like the tropical bird market, the ornamental fish market has devastated natural populations and environments. The ability to culture the valued marine ornamentals will reduce pressure on wild stocks.